Massey Hall, Thursday, March 1st, 2016 at 7:00 pm

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the music inside is delightful, because we are the Steven Wilson show, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow, and snow it did!

While Toronto was experiencing a major snow storm, inside Massey Hall Steven Wilson and his band were keeping everyone warm and entertained!

Steven Wilson has just started his North American leg of his, "Hand, Cannot, Erase" tour. Someone with Steven's talent and reputation draws top notch musicians to record and tour with him. This tour is no exception, the lineup is:

Craig Blundell: Drums • Dave Kilminster: Guitar • Adam Holzman: Keys

Nick Beggs: Bass, Stick, Guitar, Vocals • Ninet Tayeb: Guest Vocalist

The first set was dedicated to the Hand, Cannot, Erase Project in its entirety. The opening song starts with sound of children playing all around you thanks to the surround sound setup, and a looping synth track while images of city flash by, after a minute or so the band runs on stage and the crowd, obviously Steven Wilson fans, burst into thunderous applause!

The first two songs, First Regret and 3 Years Older quickly show the many changing dynamics of Steven Wilson songs, this is what draws me to his solo and other projects like Porcupine Tree.

The set moves on nicely with Hand, Cannot, Erase a tour-de-force and Perfect Life featuring the voice of Katherine Jenkins, not singing but narrating a story of happy tales gone by with a sister that magically appeared, they were inseparable, and then she was gone, perfect life or dreams of?

Perfect Life leads into what I can only describe as one of the most moving songs I have ever heard and in this case scene. The video and music blend together perfectly. The story captivates you, a story of denial, but denial of what, denial in the form of daily routines, to forget what, a tragic loss… in the end she does, the clouds lift, the sun shines as she is able to move on, break from the routine! Absolutely brilliant! The song also features the lovely vocals of guest vocalist, Ninet Tayeb.

The second set features several Porcupine Tree songs including Lazarus, a song he dedicates to David Bowie who ironically featured a song of the same name on his last album. Steven pointed out that the main character in his song is named, David!

Steven also revisited several songs that had not been previously released but that have been slightly modified and appear on his new EP (37 minute EP, as Steven pointed out, albums used to be that long or shorter) 4 and 1/2.

Ninet joins the band again in a great rendition of "Don't Hate Me". Originally intended for two different voices to play against each other, it really added a great dynamic to the song. The second set ends with another PT classic, "Sleep together".

The encore starts out with another dedication and tribute to David Bowie, Space Oddity where he is joined again by vocalist, Ninet Tayeb. The evening ends with the sound of Muzak, one of my favourite PT songs. Steven invites the audience to join in on the song, he indicated that this does not always work, for several shows the crowd did not join in, a rather humbling experience, not to worry in Massy Hall, we all joined in!

The final song, "The Raven That Refused to Sing" could not be played because we had reached curfew, curfew, what the fuck is that, is this Toronto or some communist state, if someone can explain this total silliness to me that would be appreciated!

I have only rated one other band with this, but this concert
and the pure brilliance that is Steven Wilson
deserves it: 10 Maple Leafs out of 10 .

The Canadian Music Scene Maple Leaf The Canadian Music Scene Maple Leaf The Canadian Music Scene Maple Leaf The Canadian Music Scene Maple Leaf The Canadian Music Scene Maple Leaf The Canadian Music Scene Maple Leaf The Canadian Music Scene Maple Leaf The Canadian Music Scene Maple Leaf The Canadian Music Scene Maple Leaf The Canadian Music Scene Maple Leaf

Set 1: the complete Hand, Cannot, Erase Project
  • First Regret
  • 3 Years Older
  • Hand Cannot Erase
  • Perfect Life
  • Routine with Ninet Tayeb
  • Home Invasion
  • Regret #9
  • Transience
  • Ancestral with Ninet Tayeb
  • Happy Returns
  • Ascendant Here On...

Set 2
  • Dark Matter Porcupine Tree Song
  • Harmony Korine
  • My Book Of Regrets
  • Index
  • Lazarus Porcupine Tree Song Dedicated to David Bowie
  • Don't Hate Me Porcupine Tree Song Dedicated with Ninet Tayeb
  • Vermillioncore
  • Sleep Together Porcupine Tree Song

  • Space Oddity David Bowie Cover with Ninet Tayeb
  • The Sound Of Muzak Porcupine Tree Song

Note: "The Raven That Refused to Sing" was on the setlist but not played
due to curfew (are you FKM curfew, has TO become a communist state?)